Karl Malone was best known for his days as a member of the Utah Jazz. He would have won a title too if it wasn’t for those meddling Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Malone was asked which of those two players were the best, and Malone gave an interesting answer to Dan Patrick.
“I would have to start my team with Scottie Pippen,” he said. “This is why I would take Scottie: Do you remember the time that Michael retired? I watched Scottie Pippen when the Chicago Bulls weren’t really good and Scottie led that team in every statistical category, and I just remembered that. Plus, he’s a guy who could care less about scoring. He wants to stop the best player on the other team. That would have been pretty cool, to see Scottie guarding Michael.
That is an interesting take from Karl Malone. Both players were great in their own right but I just can’t see people taking Pippen over MJ. If you look at it, Pippen was a MJ clone. They went at each other in practice each day. Jordan helped create Pippen into the monster he became. Could Pippen have become great without MJ? Probably. I think he was better off from playing with MJ.
That question can be raised about a lot of teammate duos. I think MJ and Pippen were what they were because they played with each other, just like John Stockton and Karl Malone were great because of each other.
I’d still take MJ, but it is food for thought.